Sapporo on Thursday became the first major city in Japan to officially recognize same-sex partnerships between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples.
The city in northern Japan also certifies partnerships between heterosexual couples with gender-identity disorder, becoming the first municipality in Japan to do so.
“I am delighted,” a 32-year-old woman said after receiving the recognition of same-sex partnership under the system. “I was finally able to do it. It may be self-satisfaction but I want other people to use the system without caring what people around them think as they can become happy.”
Upon signing a “partnership vow,” the couple receives copies of their vow and a receipt from the city. These documents do not confer legal rights or obligations, but enable them to become recipients of life insurance money and use family-member discounts for mobile phone and other services.
Tokyo’ Shibuya and Setagaya wards began the same-sex partnership system in 2015, followed …